What Facebook's bold vision for virtual reality means to you

Facebook spent billions of dollars on a virtual reality company and dedicate a significant portion of a recent conference keynote to the subject. The company is betting big on VR and says the technology will be the dominant form of communication on Facebook within the next decade.

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Focus should be on the reality, not the virtual

Most people focus on the virtual part of VR, but Abrash says the emphasis should be on the reality.

"We, our conscious minds, never actually interact with the real world," Abrash says. "Instead we interact with signals from sensors in our eyes, in our ears, in our skin, on our tongue, in our nose, in our…organs and throughout our body. We only know what those sensors detect, interpret and signal to the brain, and that's actually a very small subset of the real world."

[Related Opinion: How virtual reality will impact the enterprise]

Take vision, for example. Humans can't see infrared or ultraviolet, they have only three color sensors and can see only a two-degree circle in high resolution. People have blind spots in each of their eyes and can only see a fraction of the 360 degrees around them at any time. There's a large blind spot straight ahead of them at night, and anything but the plane they focus on is blurry, according to Abrash.

"The fact that reality is whatever your mind infers from the nerve impulses sent by your sensors, based on its model of the world is at the heart of what makes VR different and more powerful than anything that has come before," he says.

Reality is whatever you believe it is

Good VR can replace rather than augment the real world, according to Abrash. "VR is more than just another platform. In the long run it has the potential to create the whole range of human experience. and while it will be a very long time before all of that potential is fulfilled, the process is well underway."

Facebook's Schroepfer says consumers will be able to experience the latest state of VR when Oculus ships later this year.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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